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Recruitments, promotions and appointments…

Vanessa Simms


Credit: Landsec

Landsec is pleased to announce that Vanessa Simms is to be appointed as its next Chief Financial Officer.

Vanessa is currently CFO of Grainger PLC, a role she has held since February 2016, and Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Chair at Drax Group PLC. Prior to that, Vanessa held a number of senior positions at other UK property companies, including Deputy CFO at Unite Group PLC and UK finance director at SEGRO PLC.  She has over 20 years of experience in finance and extensive knowledge of UK real estate.

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Marie Ernst

Schwitzke & Partner

Credit: Schwitzke & Partner

GCSP: Marie Ernst as new ambassador for the west region.

The Managing Director of Schwitzke & Partner is going to succeed Christoph Stoll and therefore will be the contact person for regional members and stakeholders of the German Council of Shopping Places.

“To take over this important office means an exciting and enriching task to me, and I am really happy to represent the activities of the German Council in the future. One of my priorities will be the exchange with our members and interested parties in order to bring in my expertise in interior design and commercial property in the most constructive way. Let’s bear our retail landscape through this time and into the future together!”, says Marie Ernst.

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Ronen Journo


Credit: Hines

Hines, the international real estate firm, has appointed WeWork executive Ronen Journo as European Head of Operations and Senior Managing Director.

Senior appointment sees Hines strengthen its workplace experience and technology offer for tenants in Europe.

An expert on global workplace trends, technology and corporate real estate operations, Ronen will work closely with Hines’ teams and tenants across Europe to meet the evolving real estate needs of global occupiers.

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Julia Calabrese


Credit: McArthurGlen

Europe’s leading designer outlet group, McArthurGlen, has announced that its long-serving CEO, Julia Calabrese, will assume the new role of Vice Chairman. Susie McCabe and Joan Jove will succeed her as Co-CEOs.

The appointments take immediate effect and all three executives will report to McArthurGlen Group Chairman, J. W. (Joey) Kaempfer.

Kaempfer said: “After serving as our trusted and much-loved CEO for the past 18 years, Julia Calabrese has expressed her wish to step back from her full-time executive duties.  I would like to thank Julia for her long service and dedication to our company over many successful years, and I am delighted that we will continue to benefit from her wise counsel as she takes on her new role.

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Connor Owens


Credit: Hammerson

Hammerson plc announces the appointment of Connor Owens as its new Director of Ireland. Connor will head up Hammerson’s Irish business, and lead the operation across its high quality portfolio, which includes Dundrum Town Centre, the ILAC Centre, and Swords Pavilions.

Connor, a fellow chartered accountant, has extensive experience of both running and driving value from retail, office, and mixed use assets, and of managing and motivating teams to ensure they deliver key strategic objectives. He has also worked closely and productively with a broad range of international Joint Venture partners, as well as other key stakeholders. Connor joins Hammerson from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), where he was the Head of Asset Management & Recovery, reporting to the Board on the delivery of the €1bn division’s strategic, operational, and financial objectives.

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Tomáš Míček


Credit: CBRE

CBRE appointed Tomáš Míček (39) the Head of the Retail Sector effective from October 1, 2020. 

Tomáš also continues in his previous position as Head of Property Management Retail. His main goal now will be to unify and connect the operation of the individual services that CBRE provides in the retail sector into a first-class integrated service. With this approach, CBRE will ensure economic stability, commercial attractiveness and the growth of the real estate portfolio that it takes care of for its clients. 

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Sarah Hodkinson & Patrick Hanson-Lowe

Scotch Corner Designer Village

Credit: Scotch Corner Designer Village

The senior management of Scotch Corner Designer Village has been strengthened with two highly experienced appointments that will further strengthen the project team for the outlet and leisure destination, headed up by developer, Scotch Corner Richmond LLP.

Sarah Hodkinson has been appointed Retail Director, with Patrick Hanson-Lowe as the Marketing Director, for the retail and leisure destination and join as part of the ongoing development of the scheme.

Retail Director Sarah Hodkinson has specialised in outlet shopping for over 25 years since the birth of the sector in the UK. More recently, she was Leasing Executive with Sheila King International, advising US, Canadian and European clients about brands, trends and insight in both the retail and leisure sectors. Previously, she worked with Realm on the leasing of London Designer Outlet at Wembley Park as well as other schemes. She was also International Leasing Manager for McArthurGlen and was involved in leasing and asset management of all its UK sites as well as those in France and Italy.

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Benjamin Bettoun

Multi Corporation

Credit: Multi Corporation

Multi Corporation is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Bettoun as Leasing Director, effective 15 October 2020. In his new role, Benjamin Bettoun will work closely with Scott Abbey, Leasing Director and member of the Multi HQ Management Team. 

Benjamin Bettoun brings extensive experience in retail real estate, as well as asset and leasing management in the European market. Over the last decade, he has held a number of senior positions at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, most recently as Corporate Director of European Operations overseeing several countries, including Germany, Spain, and Sweden. Benjamin holds a Master’s degree in Science, with specialisations in Civil Engineering and Finance from Ecole Centrale Paris. 

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Mateusz Bonca


Credit: JLL

JLL has appointed Mateusz Bonca as CEO of Poland, effective in mid-November and he will be based in Warsaw.

Mateusz Bonca brings diverse expertise from a variety of industry sectors to help drive continued growth and digital transformation of the leading real estate advisory company in the Polish market. The role includes full responsibility for Poland, including core real estate consulting services as well as business services hub, located in Warsaw.

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Cindy Andersen

Ingka Centres

Credit: Ingka Centres

Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group, announced the appointment of Cindy Andersen as new Managing Director from February 2021. Andersen joins from Inter IKEA Group and will act as Managing Director designate with immediate effect.

Cindy joins Ingka Centres at what is arguably the most exciting time in the company’s history, as it invests €7.3bn (approximately $86bn) to transform its business in response to the changing retail environment. This includes investing in new urban projects, upgrading its existing portfolio, sustainable offerings, and digital retail initiatives for a more omnichannel world. 

Cindy has over 15 years of leadership experience in value chain, range & product development, sales and commercial activities. She has held various positions at IKEA of Sweden – part of Inter IKEA Group – since 2008, where her last position was Global Business Area Manager for one of the key business areas. Prior to joining Inter IKEA Group Cindy had various position within A.P. Moller-Maersk group in China and Sweden.

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Arndt Schwerdtfeger


Credit: ECE

Arndt Schwerdtfeger new Managing Director at ECE.

He is now responsible for the Architecture & Construction division as a new member of the ECE Management Board. 

The 45-year-old architect has been working in various functions at ECE since 2007, most recently as Director of Project Management.

“I am very pleased to be responsible for the entire extensive architectural and construction expertise of ECE, which ranges from product development, creative design and master planning to the constructional implementation of projects as general contractor, covering all asset classes,” says Arndt Schwerdtfeger. “In the future, we want to deal with digital construction even more than before and use technologies such as BIM to make our construction projects even faster and more efficient”.

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Rita-Rose Gagné


Credit: Hammerson

Hammerson plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Rita-Rose Gagné as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO“) and Executive Director.

Ms Gagné was most recently President of Growth Markets at the global real estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge where she had responsibility for $7.6bn of real estate assets across Asia Pacific and Latin America.

She joined Ivanhoé Cambridge in 2006 and held a variety of roles from Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel at Société immobilière Trans-Québec (SITQ) to Executive Vice President of Global Strategy, Portfolio Management and Investment Funds at Ivanhoé Cambridge. As Executive Vice President, Rita-Rose was tasked with developing, leading and executing the investment strategy in Asia and Latin America, prior to being made President of Growth Markets.

Ms Gagné is also a lawyer and holds an MBA from McGill-HEC Montreal. During her career, she has worked in property markets across the world, including the UK, France and Germany, and her expertise spans across various asset classes and mixed-use assets, including residential, retail, office and logistics.

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